Chris Bonington – 12 October (Part 1)

I’ve just got back from a great trip to Kinabalu.

Wilfred Tok Founder and Executive Director of Mountain Torq set it up for us.  He built and owns the highest Via Ferrata in the World on Kinabalu.  I was in Malaysia in my capacity as Chancellor of Lancaster University, giving out degrees to students at Sunway University College who do the Lancaster University degree course.  It seemed a pity not to get in a climb while I was out there.  Tony Dunn and my brother Gerald were out in Thailand so came over to join me and David Lim (pictured on the far right) who led the Singapore Everest Expedition and is an old friend, he put me in touch with Wilfred.

The view from the road of Kinabalu, from where you can see the Commodious cabins, upper right which is the first staging post for anyone climbing Kinabalu.

Setting out on the trail.

The trail map at the Park Gate at 1800 metres

It’s a good but steep trail all the way with a lot of steps for 1400 metres to the first stop for the night.

Dense and steep tropical rain forest on either side of the trail.

Some fantastic sunsets

Start of the Via Ferrata,

Taking us into some spectacular situations

With great views – Gerald and I having fun.

Topping out at around 3750 metres

That afternoon we went rock climbing.  The granite is superb and the friction fantastic.  We stayed at a hut on the edge of the plateau and there is any amount of rock.

The routes vary from single pitch sport routes to serious big wall climbing.  I’m having a go on the same route Gerald has just led.

Read Part 2 of Chris’s blog

  • I-Gek

    Hey Chris,
    It was wonderful having you here with us! come back soon and we can set up some new rock routes on the plateau